Jets Organizational Sketch: Fringe Prospects and Suspects

Kevin McCartney
August 04 2013 06:00AM

 

Lukas Sutter. Photo by seventwentysk.

Last week we started our sketch of the organization's prospects with Blue Chip and Legitimate Prospects. Today, we look at the Fringe Prospects and Suspects, with a Depth Chart of Prospects at the end.

As with last week, the prospects are organized alphabetically. We use Calder eligibility for who is a prospect. You can check out last week's article for more preamble on the how and why.

Fringe Prospects

Carl Kilngberg playing for Sweden. Photo by Canada Hky.

These players have value and could make an impact at the NHL level. Low ceilings or high risk keep them back in our depth chart.

  • Austen Brassard – A big RW who only managed 45 points in 79 OHL games (regular season and playoffs) in his over-age year. Every team is trying to find their Lucic, but it looks like last year's breakout season might have been due more to his time with linemate Brendan Gaunce than a credit to Brassard.
  • Andrew Copp – Copp was drafted as an over-age player with a limited resume. He had a second half surge as a Freshman, scoring 19 points in his final 22 games for the Michigan Wolverines, and will be an assitant captain in his sophomore year.
  • Aaron Harstad - A stay-at-home type with good size, Harstad was a USHL All-Star and won Colorado College's team award for Best Rookie while playing in the top-4 as a Freshman. Didn't make clear strides as a sophomore while battling injuries. Questions persist about work ethic, and the offence is well shy of even an NHL shutdown man. Needs time.
  • Marcus Karlstrom - A draft-and-follow prospect, Karlstrom had a cup of coffee in the J20 SuperElit (top Junior League in Sweden) after tearing up the J18 Elit and J18 Allsvenskan (a Winter Series within the J18 Elit) to the tune of 44 points in 40 games. 
  • Jason Kasdorf - In addition to being from the Peg, 6'4" Kasdorf stole the starting job as a Freshman at R.P.I. with a stunning 1.62, .935 performance over 23 games. Winner of ECAC's Goalie of the Month and HCA National Rookie of the Month for Feb, Kasdorf has put himself on the big league radar in a big way.  
  • Carl Klingberg – A big bodied, right-handed left winger, Klingberg is slowly falling down the Jets prospect rankings as he struggles to find the range offensively. Injury and ineffectiveness in two-seasons with the IceCaps have started to raise questions about the 22 year old long-time pro. Has the size to be a bottom-6 player with more experience.
  • Scott Kosmachuk - Ranked 24th among NA skaters by CS in 2012 after an appearance with Canada at the U18 World's and a strong showing in the OHL playoffs, Kosmachuk slipped to the third round amidst concerns about his 'tweener' status. 
  • Tanner Lane - A high-school scoring dynamo, he struggled in the USHL and put up poor totals in his Freshman year with Nebraska-Omaha (2-4-6 in 31 games). Still, that was 8th among forwards on the team, and he has the size and hands to develop into a pro player. 
  • Julian Melchiori - Big, finesse defenceman hasn’t delivered on offensive potential and struggled in his first pro season with the IceCaps. 

  • Eric O'Dell -  A strong second pro season saw him lead the IceCaps with 55 points in just 59 games as a 22 year old. Heart surgery two years ago and nagging injuries last year have limited him to 98 pro games. A great passer with impressive vision and an NHL shot, O'Dell's challenges are equally daunting - skating, size, and health. 
  • Ryan Olsen - Traded to the Kelowna Rockets this year, Olsen exploded for 56 points in 69 games, 5th best on the team, while adding edge to the tune of 87 PIMs (2nd). The Rockets turned in a 52 win season, putting Olsen's +17 in the bottom half of the roster and leaving questions about how much of Olsen's leap can be sustained.
  • Jamie Phillips - A big, efficient net-minder. Had the best stats among the goalies as a Mich Tech Freshman, but only played 324 minutes, mostly in relief efforts. 
  • Tucker Poolman - A 1993 birthday passed over in two previous drafts, Poolman was an adequate and under-sized blueliner on a mostly bad USHL team. Scouting reports conflict on the player, but he's likely a (Jets Scout) Max Giese favourite. 
  • Juho Olkinuora - 22 year old Finish netminder signed as a FA after 2 strong years at the University of Denver. 
  • Jordan Samuels-Thomas (interview) - A massive and aggressive power-forward (6'4", 190lbs) was part of a Regular Season Title win and a run to the National Championship game with Quinnipac this year as the team's 3rd highest scorer. Former 7th rounder, his arrows are pointing in the right direction.
  • Vinny Saponari (interview) - Saponari took 2nd in scoring as Northeastern's Captain his senior year. He's come a long way since being dismissed from Boston U's program for disciplinary reasons. He self-identifies as a playmaker and possession player, and his skating has improved. Could be a riser. 
  • Peter Stoykewych - Winnipeg boy took a major step forward as a sophomore with Colorado College. The only defender to play in all 42 games, recording 11 points as the Assistant Captain. Was named to the All-WCHA Academic Team. A projectable frame, Stoykewych is a quick puck-mover who needs to round out his game. 
  • Lukas Sutter – It’s early to write off Lukas Sutter, but the former 2nd round pick fell back to earth after a hopeful breakout in his draft year, managing just 24 points in 72 games in the WHL. His gaudy PIMS total, thick body, and family history point to an energy role, but he’ll have to add to his hockey skills to make the jump.
  • Ivan Telegin – Telegin appeared to be beating his draft position early with an excellent final season in the OHL, but high hopes have given way to concerns after a slow start in his first professional season and a major head injury that continues to keep him off the ice.

Eric O'Dell sits in the box. Photo by Tabercil.

SUSPECTS

These players are all but lost in the organization. Without a major change, they're likely to get flushed.

  • John Albert - College scoring ace, had a fantastic sophomore year at Ohio State, but his scoring didn't build while Albert worked on his two-way game. In his pro debut with the IceCaps managed only 27 points in 64 games for the 4th highest scoring team in the AHL. He followed it up with just 5 points in 24 games last year and appears to be an AHL roster player at 24.
  • Ben Chiarot - Chiarot was able to stick with the IceCaps in his second pro season, but had similar results to career minor-leaguer Dean Arsene on a squad he didn't do much to help. His size and physical skills appear to be in place, but his decision making remains a work in progress. 
  • Yasin Cisse - A sad story of injury derailing a prospect, Cisse is a big scorer (6'3, 215) who lost years of his college career to a tendon tear and broken ankle, and skated a third year on the bottom line before leaving school for an underwhelming 27 games of Junior hockey in the Q. 
  • Edward Pasquale - The large netminder was a hopeful for backup duty with the Jets, but his career-best .911 sv% fell to .907 as a 22 year old in the AHL. After three pro seasons, it's clear that Pasquale is very unlikely to be ever be NHL capable.
  • Brennan Serville – The Jets traded up to take Serville in the 3rd round, but the big-framed, stay-at-home defenceman has struggled to stay healthy while playing limited minutes on a good University of Michigan team. When healthy, he’s known as a quiet defender with projectable size and reasonable skating, but neither the physicality nor the scoring to project as an NHL regular. 
  • Cody Sol - Sol is a massive slab of man but his skating holds him back. Drafted in 2009, Sol remains more enforcer than defenceman. Sol split time in the ECHL and AHL this year. 

Where's Zach Yuen?

I noticed in a number of places the inclusion of Zach Yuen on Jets prospect lists. Sadly (since the Jets traded up to get him), the Jets actually allowed his rights to lapse, much as the Islanders did with Brendan Kichton. He re-entered the draft this year and was not selected despite thoughts he might actually move up from his original 4th round draft placement. We can call that vindication of Cheveldayoff, or perhaps evidence of something we aren't privvy to - did he decide to hang up the skates? We'll look for him on a PTO in September, and on AHL rosters around the league.

The Depth Chart

Left Wing

Centre

Right Wing

LH Defence

RH Defence

Goal

Lowry

Scheifele

Lipon

Kichton

Trouba

Hellebuyck

Klingberg

Petan

Saponari

Melchiori

Morrissey

Comrie

Telegin

Lodge

Kosmachuk

Harstad

Redmond

Olkinuora

Samuels-T

O’Dell

Brassard

Chiarot

Kostalek

Kasdorf

 

Copp

Cisse

Sol

Stoykewych

Phillips

 

Sutter

 

 

Poolman

Pasquale

 

Olsen

 

 

Karlstrom

 

 

Lane

 

 

Serville

 

 

Albert

 

 

 

 

The Jets keep adding depth at centre, but it's not clear whether they can find two impact players from the group after Scheifele. Petan and O'Dell would appear to be fighting for the same job of under-sized 2C, while Olsen, Copp, Sutter, and Lodge make efforts to be Top-9 players.

The wings and left handed defencemen remain a problem for the organization. The good news is that the team has added major depth at the goal position, putting them in a strong position to flush Pasquale and Montoya after this season. Olkinuora impressed at the Development Camp and will push for Pasquale's job in St John's this winter. With Comrie and Hellebuyck on the way and Kasdorf's surprise season, it's possible Pavelec could be outplayed for the big league job before Trouba's ELC expires. 

One thing to note is the huge number of these players who took the college route. The Jets have spent a lot of late picks on players they can watch develop for longer before making a decision. It's possible the Jets will get a training camp surprise in the next few years from one of these fringe prospects.

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Kevin is the Managing Editor of Jets Nation. His work has been featured on Bleacher Report, The Sporting News, and around the Nations Network. An enthusiastic over-analyst, his background and interests are diverse, but you might notice he's obsessed with hockey. Track him down on twitter @kevinmccart or @nhljetsnation
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